Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church

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Social Action Coordinating Commission

This commission strives to encourage, support, and demonstrate the Christ-like servant leadership of IHM parish members in their efforts for social justice through prayer, advocacy, education, and financial/material support of those in need. The commission in all of its activities promotes the themes of Catholic Social Teaching such as recognizing that all human life is sacred; seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable; supporting global solidarity; caring for God’s creation. The Commission meets the 1st Monday of the month at 7:15 p.m.

It is part of our mission to "live and share" the Good News of Jesus Christ.

All parishioners are invited to discern serving as a parish leader. The Parish Pastoral Council will help you prayerfully discern where to best use your God-given talents, and will provide training for effective servant leadership.

For more information, please contact Mike Suter
Staff Liaison: Debbie Birck

Empowerment Fund

Established in 1988, the Empowerment Fund makes grants to empower our brothers and sisters to improve their lives, not by charity alone for today’s need, but by helping to break the cycle of poverty so that a person can become self-reliant. 

Requests come through parishioners, or directly from agencies and groups, and are considered by the Social Action Coordinating Commission. The person making the request is asked to provide information on the group or agency, including any printed brochures or personal information they have from working with the group.

Guidelines for Empowerment Fund Applications
Please keep in mind the following points as you complete your application:
  • Be concise and type or print clearly.
  • Be thorough and complete all questions.
  • Please let us know if your project has a deadline. The Social Action Coordinating Commission usually meets monthly and evaluates requests. After selection at IHM, the request is processed through the Archdiocese Mission Office, and timing varies.
Empowerment Fund Guidelines, which the Social Action Coordinating Commission uses to consider requests:
  • To address both sides of the poverty issue, the request must empower the recipient(s) to break the cycle of poverty and oppression in order to regain control of their life, OR, educate and raise awareness on the devastation of poverty, and our opportunity and obligation to be agents of change.
  • Must lie outside the current Special Collections of IHM.
  • Will generally be made to small groups without broad-based financial support, except in cases of disaster relief through agencies such as Catholic Relief.
  • Will include local, national, and global needs.
  • Can include a mission grant for groups or individuals with exhibited need who are involved in outreach work projects.
  • Excludes major capital improvements, but minor improvements to empower organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Scholarships will be awarded to a school’s general scholarship fund, not to individual students.
  • Upholds the commitment to seek grant requests from members of the Parish.
  • Recipients must use the funds in accordance with Catholic principles.
Please see below for Application Form and Guidelines. To return the application, drop it in the Social Action Coordinating Commission mailbox in the Parish Office, email it to John Szucsik or mail to Immaculate Heart of Mary Social Action Coordinating Commission, 7770 Beechmont Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45255.
Justice for Immigrants

In January 2003, the bishops of the United States and Mexico issued a joint pastoral letter, Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, (“Strangers No Longer”) that presented a Catholic framework for responding to the ongoing migration in their respective countries. Strangers No Longer offered pastoral guidance to Catholics who encounter and engage migrants, including undocumented immigrants, migrant children, and refugees, who are living and working in their communities. The letter also suggested systematic reforms to U.S. migration policy and presented an alternative to the existing immigration paradigm.

In 2004, the Catholic bishops of the United States committed to immigration reform as a priority of the U.S. Catholic Church, and to creating a culture of welcome in which all migrants are treated with respect and dignity. A diverse group of Catholic organizations with national networks joined the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Justice for Immigrants Campaign (JFI) in an effort to unite and mobilize a growing network of Catholic institutions, individuals, and other persons of goodwill in support of immigration reform.

Catholic social teaching provides the foundation for how the Church addresses issues related to migration. Reflecting on both Scripture and the Church’s moral teachings, the bishops’ on migration inform the approach to migration policy taken by Catholic institutions and Catholics generally. Understanding how the Church’s teaching tradition informs its position on migration will help Catholics and others of good will better understand how these principles can be and should be put into practice. The resources highlighted here will help you learn more about the Church’s social teachings as related to migration and how you can help to make positive change.

Bob Hilmer with his wife, Sandy, and daughter, Lisa Riccardi

2017 Living a Faith That Does Justice Award Recipient:
Bob Hilmer

The Social Action Coordinating Commission is pleased to announce this year’s “Living a Faith that Does Justice” award winner, Robert Hilmer.

Bob and his wife, Sandy are long time IHM Parishoners and two of our most active volunteers.
While Bob’s list of volunteer activities is extensive and varied, an important theme is his commitment to feeding the hungry and reaching out to the lonely and isolated. He is an active and proud member of the Knights of Columbus and serves as the coordinator of the parish monthly breakfast. He also coordinates the IHM/K of C Christmas Dinner, providing a holiday for anyone who wants to share a holiday meal. In addition to the meal at the parish, volunteers provide meals to shut-ins and deliver meals to police and fire fighters who are working on Christmas. It is our way of expressing our appreciation and gratitude for their service. Our volunteer food related activities include the SEM food pantry and the Race Track Ministry. In addition to meeting the physical needs of the hungry, Bob’s outreach includes an understanding and a commitment to responding to those who are lonely and isolated. His friendly and caring approach to all he meets is an inspiration.

The Living a Faith that Does Justice award will be presented at the Social Action Coordinating Commission Dinner Meeting on Monday, March. 6.

Congratulations, Bob, for this well-deserved honor and recognition of your commitment of service.